Category Archives: Atmakaraka

What Grahas Get One Involved in Astrology?

Shukra (Venus). Guru of the Asuras.

Shukra (Venus). Guru of the Asuras.

I am often asked what planets get one involved in being an Astrologer themselves.  It is an understandable question since most people studying astrology would naturally want to see if it that is indicated in their own horoscopes.  When I was reading, for the longest time there was a gap in my understanding when it came to this question.  Most of the books available state that Mercury is important for being an astrologer and that you have to have a good Mercury to do astrology and to convey what is shown in the chart to the individual.  But there must be more to it than that, since a good Mercury can also make one many other things, like a lawyer, a bookkeeper, or an artisan for example. What else is involved?

First, I want to define an Astrologer not as one who necessarily makes a living off of it, or is super amazing at it, or famous, or whatever, but as one who has devoted a great portion/majority of their life and time to the study and practice of Astrology.  A person could be a nurse by trade and in the sense of what pays the bills, but in another sense, they are an Astrologer if they are constantly contemplating astrology all day at the hospital while working, and get home and study and practice it at night.  This should be clear first.

And that is the thing with Astrology, it is a very thoughtful craft.  So while I do agree that Mercury is very helpful and important for a person to be able to convey the chart to an individual, there is more involved than that. Mercury represents skills and our aptitude overall. In this manner, a great Mercury can really make one great at most things. So naturally that can carry over to studying Jyotish, and Mercury loves to study.  But there must be some desire to study the heavens, to contemplate, to find symbolic meaning in life, to be philosophical and so forth. Mercury alone is not really the planet that is going to always do that. Mercury is a vaishya, the Merchant mentality (There are 4 castes or mentalities in human nature according to Vedic philosophy, each one offering unique skills and abilities). To really be a counselor, an advisor, a guide that has the best interest of the individual at heart, one must have other factors going on to indicate that. Mercury alone is a businessman and sometimes even a trickster, it just depends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t wanna be tricked when I go to get advice.

So the main planets you really need to see involved in a person’s makeup are the philosophical and contemplative planets, the Brahmin mentality.  Those planets are Venus and Jupiter. They are the Brahmins of the zodiac, which means most devoted to knowledge and spirituality, to learning, educating, etc.  These planets suggest a desire for refinement in life as well. Ketu is also involved in making one an Astrologer.  So when it comes down to it, having these three planets involved heavily in your chart, and connecting to the self-factors such as Atmakaraka, lagnesh, swamsha, and pada, you often find these people to be involved in Astrology at some point in their life. (Look for these planets in the svamsa or 10th from it, see my previous posts for more info on the svamsa).

Brihaspati (Jupiter) Guru to the Devas.

Brihaspati (Jupiter) Guru to the Devas.

Then you often find Mercury connecting to these planets in some way, via conjunction or rasi aspect, or ruling them, especially if they are going to make a business out of it. Mercury rules business as well as curiousity, so they may just talk about it a lot if the business isnt indicated by other factors in the chart.  This you will really find happening a lot! Jupiter, Venus, or Ketu in the lagna, or 10th, or with the Lagna lord is very, very common.

Now you have the ingredients as far as planets go.  But to be more precise, we need to see the 8th house connected to Ketu to make one an Astrologer, at least if they are going to spend a large portion of life involved in it.  One example I can think of is the Lord of Ketu being in the 8th, another is Ketu simply being in the 8th, another is with the 8th Lord and Ketu rasi aspecting each other, and still one more example I can think of has the 8th lord conjunct ketu.

If all these factors come together you will often see an Astrologer or someone who is involved somehow in dealing with the Soul’s journey and its many lives. There is more to determining any career than this but now you have the basic ingredients to find if one is going to be an Astrologer from the birth chart.

Oh and one more thing, a predictive Astrologer is often shown more by Venus. A psychological astrologer or more of a spiritual advisor type of astrologer can be shown by Jupiter. Venus is the Guru to the Asuras, the worldly forces of materialization and the senses. Naturally, Venusians take after this quality and tend to give great guidance to people for worldly matters.  Jupiter is the Guru to the Devas, the heavenly forces of consciousness, ideas, and inner life. Therefore, Jupiterian Astrologers will perhaps not be as inclined to predict but will give great spiritual counsel about where you are and the type of person you are, your dharma.  The best Astrologers tend to have both planets involved so they can do both of course.  But this is worth noting as there are so many types of astrologers and there are many uses for this craft.  So go to a venusian astrologer if you need help with getting a new car. Go to a jupiterian astrologer to learn a great mantra to meditate upon. Or hopefully, with the grace of God, you will find one who can do both ;)


The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa Part 2


The Jaimini system is a solar, and rasi based system, emphasizing rasi aspects over planetary aspects, and rasi dasas over planetary dasas.  As such it is useful for more objective data such as the career a person will have.  The Parashara system works beautifully together with it, but is more Lunar and Nakshatra based and is therefore more subjective.  We could then see how one feels about their career and how happy one is with it, from this system.

The Jaimini system is a solar, and rasi based system, emphasizing rasi aspects over planetary aspects, and rasi dasas over planetary dasas. As such it is useful for more objective data such as the career a person will have. The Parashara system works beautifully alongside it, but is for different things. It is more Lunar and Nakshatra based and is therefore more subjective. We could then see how one feels about their career and how satisfied they are from this system.

We now begin where we left off in describing the different effects of the Atmakaraka falling in each of the twelve signs of the navamsa chart.  This is called the “Swamsha” and has a large bearing on the nature and dharma of a person as described in part 1.

Libra:  With a Libra Swamsha, the native has a life marked by trade and relationships.  Libra is the sign of trade, it is symbolized as a balancing scale, which implies balancing as well as decision making and “weighing the options”.  Libras can make some of the best businessmen if that is what the rest of the chart is pointing towards.  Libra is also the sign of relationships, (which involve a lot of trading) as well as the public.  Libra has a keen understanding of society and the social side of life.  A strong and healthy Libra swamsha is able to relate to the world in such a way that it may not have much itself, but it trades what it does have so wisely and appropriately that it ends up with much more than most.  Afflicted Libra swamshas may have to work harder at this, and diplomacy in general.  They may have to work on making better decisions and seeing what others have to offer.  Prince, the musician, has Saturn as the Atmakaraka and falling in Libra in the navamsa chart, and is a great example of a strong Libra swamsha.  He ended up with a very fulfilled life.  (His chart is really strong overall though as well, to be fair, and this is not the only reason for his success.)

Scorpio:  Scorpio swamsha is a very fascinating one.  They can be very extreme individuals, with whatever they do in life.  Scorpio is a fixed rasi after all, so it can be very devoted and fixed on what it focuses on as being worthwhile.  Scorpio swamsha is a person who is working on their vulnerabilities essentially. They are without a doubt going to face more emotional issues that bring up their vulnerable places because they are meant to battle through those issues.  They often have difficult issues come up in the early family life, or a separation from the mother of some sort is also common.  Or the Mother of the native may be there but less comforting than the average mother, etc.  They have to learn to fight so much harder for everything that they get than the average individual, and this can lead to both positive and negative extremes.  Paramahansa Yogananda is a very positive example of taking this energy and the death of his Mother in his early life to galvanize him to seek the Divine Mother with great ardor.  Adolf Hitler is another example of a swamsha in scorpio, on the other more negative end of the spectrum.  He suffered in a household where his Father abused his Mother and there was nothing he was able to do about it, likely leading him to have a hateful approach towards life in general.  If the rest of the chart also supports it, these swamshas can make great spiritual progress in life, or can have a life that involves the occult or hidden side of life somehow.  I have noted that two of the greatest Astrologers I have found in my life are Scorpio Swamshas.  They seem to have learned to better deal with the troubles of life from their understanding of the somewhat hidden forces in life, such as the planets.

Sagittarius:  Sagittarius swamsha, when aspected by malefics, is actually a sign of accidents and falls from heights.  This was surprising to me, when I learned this.  Most people paint Sag as this really lucky and joyful sign, and if not blemished than that often is the case. Sagittarius is the sign of the bowman, the archer.  It symbolizes seeing the goal and pursuing it.  But if there are malefics aspecting (rasi aspecting, we are talking about here) then the Bowman misses his mark, essentially.  If all benefic planets are associated with Sagittarius then the person is likely to find grace from accidents and such, but this is rarely the case.  In that case, the person may even work around accidents but still end up being okay for the most part, such as being a fireman or something of that sort.  If cruel planets are aspecting, these people need to be cautioned to be more realistic with their goals and not expect things to work out easily on the first try.  This can often be the case too, because Sagittarius is a sign of being overly optimistic; overconfident.

Capricorn:  Capricorn is a very fascinating swamsha.  It can make one involved in aquatic animals, particularly crocodiles and alligators.  Capricorn itself is the sign of crocodiles and all aquatic beasts.  Capricorn swamsha also makes “villages”, as Jaimini puts it, an important karmic factor. Sometimes these people always feel like they have to leave the home town or village that they grew up in to make it in the world and be successful.  Often they are right as well.  This is because Capricorn is about as far away as it gets from the signs of royalty and success, the prime real estate of the zodiac.  That would be Cancer and Leo, the signs of the King and Queen; the summertime when all is plentiful.  Capricorn is opposite of those signs and rasi drishtis them (dhristi is the word for aspect in Jyotish, literally meaning “sight” or “glance”.  This means that Capricorn literally “sees” the Leo rasi), wishing it could have what they seem to have.  This is also part of why Capricorn is a very driven and ambitious sign.  They often dont feel very supported in their home towns and therefore move away.  Capricorn is also a sign of tumors, and cancer is more likely to be the thing to take out this person, so they need to get themselves checked out more regularly for that sort of thing as they age.  Capricorn is also a sign of Kapha, and stagnation, like the swamps and alligators and crocs that it also rules.  Jaimini also states for capricorn swamsha, “Things flying in the air”, which is very mysterious and intriguing.  One interesting thing is I have noticed people who are pilots or involved in flying to often be having planets in the 10th house of their chart, like the 10th sign Capricorn.  I also find Gemini coming up a lot for pilots, but havent done enough research on this to be sure.  We may speculate and say that Capricorn would be the sign of flying in planes, and perhaps even UFOs would fall under this sign.

Aquarius:  Aquarius is the swamsha of the “maker of tanks and ponds” according to Jaimini.  Which is to say that one is involved in providing resources that make life more bearable for everyone.  Everyone needs water and to help provide a source of water is to be a real humanitarian, which is what Aquarius is, essentially.  This water is also symbolic of psychological wholeness, which is the true goal of Aquarius, to become whole in oneself, and accept and make peace with all of one’s weaknesses and shortcomings, and just be okay with them and love oneself anyway.  This is why Aquarius may seem so odd or weird. It is because they are learning to stop doing things to compensate for their inner lack, and instead to just be there with the lack…..and eventually it goes away, but it might seem weird to other people passing by in the meantime.  This probably has to do with why they get stereotyped in western astrology as being without charm and aloof.  Sometimes Aquarius people will be social workers or people who do a lot of service of some kind, other times they may do more of a pyschological service for people, and sometimes they may actually work around water and provide it in a literal way as well.

Pisces:  Pisces swamsha, as the last sign of the zodiac, is the most spiritual sign and the sign of “Kaivalya” or liberation of consciousness, according to Jaimini.  He also says of it, “perpetual dharma”, and seems to convey that Pisces is a sign of steady spiritual progress throughout the life of the native.  As long as the rest of the chart points mostly in that direction I do find this to be true, but you will also find many cases of Pisces swamshas that live a very negative life and are most definitely not progressing spiritually as well so that is not always the case.  Edgar Cayce is an interesting example of a Pisces swamsha, and I hope to do an article on his chart soon.  Robin Williams is another example, someone who is most definitely a sensitive soul with spiritual inclinations, but the rest of his chart had many difficult karmas indicated, and so he often could not bear the pain of life on earth and needed to escape or find liberation through more immediate means such as drugs.  That is a more mixed example, which is often the case.  We could say that this placement makes the person more sattvic and naturally inspired, within the context of the rest of the chart.  Roy Eugene Davis, the last living direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, is another example of a positive pisces swamsha.  He has written many books and lectured on Self Realization for over 50 years and in countless countries, and is noticeably more realized than the average spiritual author/public figure.

These twelve swamshas are very important signs for the individual, and one will also note that the sign the atmakaraka goes to in the rashi chart will also have some of these significations as well, but not as much as the navamsa chart.  For example, Robin Williams is a pisces swamsha, but has scorpio as a rising sign, so this reinforces more of the difficult emotional struggles and battles that he would face on his path in life.  Say it was a cancer rising, and no tough aspects from Sun, Saturn, or Rahu, then he may not have had such a painful life and perhaps could have enjoyed more of the positive Pisces qualities in life.

The planet that is falling in the swamsha determines a great more of it, but this is one important part of the puzzle of what ones dharma will involve in this life. With some careful study and application on charts, one should begin to see some clear correlations of the charts examined and the associations described above.